Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    105

    Default Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Im working on a fiddle tune that has a bunch of hammer-on pull-off combinations. And if I stay in 1st position, it uses all three combinations of fingers for these (index/middle, middle/ring, ring/pinky). Index/middle is no problem. Middle/ring is a bit weaker. But that Ring/Pinky is really weak (ring on 5th fret D of A string/pinky hammering/pulling the 7th fret E in the A string). Is that something I just need to build up, or would most pickers shift up the neck to play that combo with stronger fingers?

  2. The following members say thank you to wormpicker for this post:


  3. #2
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Quote Originally Posted by wormpicker View Post
    But that Ring/Pinky is really weak (ring on 5th fret D of A string/pinky hammering/pulling the 7th fret E in the A string). Is that something I just need to build up, or would most pickers shift up the neck to play that combo with stronger fingers?
    The answer I'd give as a teacher is you need to practice the 3rd/4th finger combination to build strength and speed.

    That said, many players would probably shift and use the 2nd/3rd finger.

    If you need to play the tune at a gig now, shift position; if not, practice.

  4. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to DavidKOS For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,047

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Can you tell us what tune you are working on, maybe post some notation of the tune and point out the trouble spots. That would probably help all of us. I think this "ring on 5th fret D of A string/pinky hammering/pulling the 7th fret E in the A string" does sound hard for most of us, even those who have been playing for a long time. Are you sure that is a hammer on or could it be played with the open E?
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,240
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    As is the case DK gives good advice. For me shifting always comes down to what all comes next. Then if / when I shift positions I try to get everything I can before I shift again. Check your setup. You may get some help from a slightly lowered action. Play on! R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to UsuallyPickin For This Useful Post:


  9. #5
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Can you tell us what tune you are working on, maybe post some notation of the tune and point out the trouble spots. That would probably help all of us. I think this "ring on 5th fret D of A string/pinky hammering/pulling the 7th fret E in the A string" does sound hard for most of us, even those who have been playing for a long time. Are you sure that is a hammer on or could it be played with the open E?
    The tune itself would help! But I got the impression that it was an A string D to E , and would work better than an open E.
    As you say, the tune is the key.

  10. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:


  11. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,047

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    The tune itself would help! But I got the impression that it was an A string D to E , and would work better than an open E.
    As you say, the tune is the key.
    Your impression is absolutely correct since the OP even states that in his first post. I just wondered if it is necessary to actually hammer on from one note to the next, especially for that combination of notes. I am even trying to think of a fiddle tune that does that. I guess we just wait and see what the wormpicker says.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  13. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Hi all, Thanks for your advice. Actually, after I posted this, I did what I should’ve done in the first place: got the answer from the horse’s mouth. The tune is called Pumpkin Vine. It’s a pretty little mandolin version that comes from my friend Mark in Tucson. I’m in Colorado, so can’t learn from him in person (maybe I should set up some zoom lessons). Anyway, I’m learning his tunes from jam recordings, so no notation or tab. His answer to me is that he plays that D to E as a slide, not a hammer. Surprised me because I can’t hear the slide in the recording. I haven’t had a chance to try out this new approach yet.

    My question was really more general than to just this particular tune, and it’s helpful to know that, yes, it’s worthwhile to work on that 3/4 finger hammer/pull-off combo. Tune to work on my pinky squats. ��

  14. The following members say thank you to wormpicker for this post:


  15. #8
    Registered User DoubleE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    I know this might sound like the easy way out, but have you tried sliding from the five to the seven? Not quite the same effect as hammering, but somewhat similar. Just a thought.

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DoubleE For This Useful Post:


  17. #9
    Registered User DoubleE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    You beat me to it!!!!

  18. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Ha! Yep.

  19. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,047

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Is this the same tune?



    Here is TAB from the Cafe Tab library.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  21. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    That is the tune, but Mark's spin on it is very different. I could post an MP3 clip of this part if I figure out how (can I post an MP4--exported from Amazing Slow Downer--with the attach video button? Guess I can try and find out).

  22. The following members say thank you to wormpicker for this post:


  23. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    105

    Post Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Let's see if this works:Pumpkin Vine low part MC.mp3

  24. #14
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    I do this sort of thing all the time when playing..let's say your playing part of a scale on a single string,you use all 4 fingers to go up the neck,keeping the index as an anchor,,like you were saying,index and middle is ok,middle to ring ok,,but that ring to pinky pull off doesn't work that great,my pinky is very adept,but there isn't enough meat on it to make an effective pull off,,I find it easier to play a hammer on ,off like a trill,with the pinky,or else I just play the 2 notes,the pull off note and then the note to be pull offed to,,always with the pinky though..chances are you play this fast enough that nobody can hear the difference anyway..

  25. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to T.D.Nydn For This Useful Post:


  26. #15
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,047

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    I agree with T.D. The musicality comes first. Perhaps there are some folks who can pull it off (no pun intended) however I believe that the physiognomy (is that the right word) of the fingers #3 & 4 to work completely independent of each other is less than the other fingers. So do what makes the music sound better in all cases. BTW there is nothing wrong with picking both notes. In baroque style classical mandolin technique, that is usually the way grace notes are handled not with pull-offs and hammer-ons.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  27. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  28. #16
    Registered User DoubleE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Quote Originally Posted by wormpicker View Post
    Let's see if this works:Pumpkin Vine low part MC.mp3
    The link didn’t work for me, but TD’s and Jim’s posts above are very helpful information.

  29. The following members say thank you to DoubleE for this post:


  30. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Seems like the consensus, not surprisingly, is that there are no hard and fast rules, and that the best guide is to do what works best and sounds best. For me, at this stage of my mandolin development, the 3/4 hammer-on, pull-off works best and sounds best. Even though that pinky hammer is a little weak sounding, I can still get it, and the rhythm sounds better than any of the alternatives I’ve tried. I guess this tune will be my etude for “pulling off” these types of licks. Thanks again, everyone.

  31. The following members say thank you to wormpicker for this post:


  32. #18
    Registered User gordonjackson83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    The medieval town of Sandwich, Kent, England.
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    I would add that pulling off can be made more effective by giving the string a little flick as you pull your finger off. This can make pulling off your 4th finger to your 3rd sound pretty good. The trick is to make the flick match the pick (rhyme intended!), so it's neither too weak nor too strong.

  33. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to gordonjackson83 For This Useful Post:


  34. #19
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Quote Originally Posted by gordonjackson83 View Post
    I would add that pulling off can be made more effective by giving the string a little flick as you pull your finger off. This can make pulling off your 4th finger to your 3rd sound pretty good. The trick is to make the flick match the pick (rhyme intended!), so it's neither too weak nor too strong.
    That's a good trick, a bit of left hand pizzicato.

  35. #20
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    That pull off is still a tough one to do..not only does the pinky usually have the smallest pad on it compared to the other fingers,but the way you hold and play a mandolin,your hand is slanted at an angle,each finger ,starting at the index,is slightly more angled than the previous one ,the pinky can sometimes take on a severe angle,further limiting the space on the flesh pad even more,,not much there to grab a string..the callous on my pinky is much smaller than the rest of my fingers and off to the side,,

  36. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to T.D.Nydn For This Useful Post:


  37. #21
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    That pull off is still a tough one to do..not only does the pinky usually have the smallest pad on it compared to the other fingers,but the way you hold and play a mandolin,your hand is slanted at an angle,each finger ,starting at the index,is slightly more angled than the previous one ,the pinky can sometimes take on a severe angle,further limiting the space on the flesh pad even more,,not much there to grab a string..the callous on my pinky is much smaller than the rest of my fingers and off to the side,,
    Exactly! that's why it's harder than the other fingers.

    And of course there are double trills...trilled double stops. Hard to do without using all fingers.

  38. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:


  39. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,848

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    Getting an octave mandolin made a tremendous difference in my pinky dexterity and strength. It’s an expensive way to work out the pinky, lol, but it’s translated positively on mando, guitar, bass, and banjo...
    Chuck

  40. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CES For This Useful Post:


  41. #23
    Stop the chop!
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    europe
    Posts
    1,339
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Do you shift positions for hammer-ons/pull-offs?

    In my experience HO's and POs work differently from the guitar on mandolin. POs tend to have more snap, and HO's can be a bit weak. An HO works best on the mandolin when followed by a picked note on the same course, e.g., in triplets: D-HO-U. In this particular case I would shift positions. I have small hands and tend to do that a lot.

  42. The following members say thank you to ralph johansson for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •